The innermost layers of a woman’s flesh hold stories whose endings can emerge as the most beautiful tales of redemption and liberation.
Redeeming flesh is not easy; yet it is holy work.
This is a vulnerable post. I won’t tell you details, but I’ll tell you I’ve been weeping – you know that kind of crying where the tears just run out your eyes and down your cheeks? It’s as if the tears have a life of their own. They just flow. You aren’t completely sure why they are flowing, but it is clear the tears know. They flow out from these innermost layers of flesh, places and pockets where pain from long, long ago were secreted away.
There’ve been many little moments this week that seem to be bringing forth these tears – moments where I can feel love wants to move through me, guiding me, yet I feel frozen because of fear. While the culture, and of course my own ego, would tell me I am right to trust my fear, my heart just breaks when I do…when I choose fear over love and offering myself to the moment at hand. These are real life moments, with people I do not know. Love wants me to move toward them in moments that might very well be unsafe. Yet, I can feel the love, and I can feel the grief when I do not move with love.
This week, though, rather than getting upset with myself for my responses, probably because I’ve been softened inside and out these past two weeks, I find these tears flowing from the heartbreak of seeing just how painfully, and beautifully, human I am. And, yes, it is painful when I see myself choosing between ‘staying safe’ and offering myself to an unknown I can’t know.
And there’s been a big moment, an experience that’s really accelerated this ‘undoing’, something that has me feeling into these deep places and pockets where I long ago secreted away experiences too painful to feel at such a tender age. In the dark, stories of rejection and abandonment grow into what seem like beasts too fierce for reacquainting.
At some point, these stories wake up and begin to make noise. They don’t like being caged. Like everything else in this world, they long to be free.
I can feel love behind these tears, right behind them, trying to make its way in on the tail of my tears. The tears soften my flesh and love rushes in.
It feelings like a river of undoing, like the river that is rushing is wearing away my resistance to love. I can feel that to choose love is to let go of a kind of ‘forced certainty’ I can hold onto when I stay insulated. It is forced because I am forcing it. I get that.
The river is rapid and insistent. Love is that way.
It is in these moments of choice that I come right up against my flaws and learned separation, and the habit of responding from fear. The stories the flesh holds about letting love in to these darker places put up some strong resistance. And I see how deeply the pain and shame of past hurts is burrowed into the innermost flesh in my body.
And the flesh holds stories about power and instincts, about unleashing and unchaining, and all the things that could happen. So many damn stories about this power within me
I remember it as a young girl – this instinctive connection to all of life.
I remember the power dancing with instinct as if they’d known each other forever.
But now, I sometimes feel like a lioness that has lost her footing. Her power is there, but the instincts aren’t fully conscious, so her big furry paws step guardedly rather than assuredly.
I sense this is why there is fear in some of my choices. When the instincts have been deemed too much or too powerful or inappropriate, they get caged where they can’t roam free. Instincts need to touch ground, feel the wind and sun, and be nourished with breath. They need to be fed and loved. They need to feel the earth.
Four paws that are in divine relationship with the earth know where to take that next step, can feel into the next step, and can sense direction and speed and gait. Four paws that are bound know little of these necessities.
The deep love a woman has for life, and her ability to hold the space for it, needs her instincts to ground it. We need this instinctual self to sniff and taste and hear and feel what is so. This love, this power, these instincts – they are all part of our aliveness, our vital life force. They are part of our creativity, and redeeming them out of the stories in our flesh is our necessary work, necessary for our own emancipation and the emancipation of our planet.
The process of reclaiming flesh is intelligent. Tears falling shows us something, especially when they fall of their own accord, as if flushed out of flesh ready to be free again.
Reclaiming flesh is holy work. Your tears can lead you across the threshold into these secreted places. And even though the stories were created in a time when it felt like true love was nowhere to be found, a river of love is riding on the tail of each tear, ready and waiting to inscribe ‘The End’ at the end of each story.
Update May 18th, 2015:
If you are curious about the journey of embodiment and coming to know again this sacred creativity, join me for my new course, Becoming a Force of Nature. We’ll be walking on four paws, feeling our instinctual way through a magnificent journey together. You can read more, here. The Early-bird price ends Sunday, May 24th at Midnight PDT.